Child Custody Lawyer in Boronia, Melbourne
If you have separated and have children, living arrangements for the children need to be decided. Under the Family Law Act, parents are responsible for the care and welfare of their children until they reach 18 years of age. Our Child Custody Lawyer can help you reach an agreement about parenting matters and child custody arrangements.
In Australia, the Family law Act requires the best interest of the child to be considered, which encompasses several key considerations. It is important that children have a meaningful relationship with each parent, and they are protected from harm. The Family Law Act also presumes that each parent has ‘equal shared parental responsibility’. ‘Parental responsibility’ is all about the legal duty, power, responsibility, and authority a parent has in relation to a child. A person with parental responsibility for a child is responsible for all matters relating to, for example, the care, welfare, and development of a child, such as the child’s schooling, cultural upbringing, health, name, and living arrangements.
This responsibility does not change because the relationship between the children’s parents breaks down.
Understand “What the Child’s Best Interest Means in Court“.
Parenting and Child Custody Arrangements
If the parents can come to an agreement regarding parenting matters, the agreement can be finalised in the following ways:
A parenting plan is a non-binding agreement between parties which sets out the agreed parenting arrangements for the children. A parenting plan is an inexpensive alternative which allows the parties greater flexibility in preparation and control of the arrangements. However, it is important to be aware a parenting plan is not binding. If one party does not comply with the agreement there is no mechanism of enforcement.
Parenting Order (Consent Order)
If the parties agree on the parenting arrangements of the children, a parenting order may be made. This involves an application to the court for consent orders which sets out the parenting arrangements including who the child will live with, the time they spend with each parent or relative, communication between the parent and the children and any other aspect of care and welfare for the child.
The benefit of a parenting order is that it is binding. The order is granted and endorsed by the court. If one party does not follow the order, an application can be brought to the court for contravention.
At the Family Lawyer, we have extensive experience in preparing consent orders which set out flexible and meaningful parenting arrangements for the future care of your children. Contact us today to arrange a consultation to discuss your parenting arrangements and formalising this agreement into a parenting order.
If an agreement cannot be reached
If you and your partner cannot reach an agreement about children’s matters, or if there are urgent issues that need to be addressed, Family Court proceedings may be necessary. We can represent you in Court and guide you through what can otherwise be a confusing process. With our experience and expertise, you can be sure that your case will be presented to the Court in a way that achieves your desired outcome for your children.